Educational Testing Service

February 19, 2009 14:30 ET

Media Advisory: Developing Stronger Teacher Candidates Focus of HBCU Conference

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - February 19, 2009) - Deans and faculty from 16 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are expected to attend Educational Testing Service's third annual HBCU-ETS Assessment Development Invitational Conference. Participants will examine how ETS develops, delivers and scores teacher licensure assessments and learn how to better meet the needs of their students who are licensure candidates.

WHAT:    HBCU-ETS Assessment Development Invitational Conference

THEME:   "Opening Doors to the Classroom"

WHEN:    Sunday, Feb. 22 - Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

WHERE:   Chauncey Conference Center, Mallard Room
         660 Rosedale Road
         Princeton, NJ 08541

Overview of Conference
Conference agenda and highlights include:

    --  HBCU Teacher Education Profiles
    --  Current research on African American test takers
    --  Overview of test validity, reliability and fairness
    --  Overview of assessment development and item writing
    --  Sharing of ideas on preparing test takers

To help better prepare their students, participants will learn about the principles underpinning test development, including reliability, validity and fairness. Attendees also will receive an overview of how the Praxis™ tests are developed.

The Praxis I® assessments are designed to measure basic competencies in reading, writing and mathematics and are available in computer- and paper-based formats. The assessments are generally taken prior to acceptance into teacher education programs and are used by many states throughout the country as a teacher licensure exam.

The major portion of the workshop will be devoted to sessions on how to write test questions and how to score written responses. Finally, ETS will provide information on free test-preparation resources available to assist test takers.

For more than 25 years, ETS has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with HBCUs. Through meetings, research and outreach, ETS staff communicate regularly with HBCU presidents to discuss issues of concern, formulate research agendas, provide information and exchange ideas. Eleven HBCU-ETS Collaboration Conferences have been held over the past four years on HBCU campuses in Maryland, Louisiana, Florida, Washington, D.C., Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Virginia. The ongoing theme of these forums is Improving Teaching Quality and Student Achievement.

About ETS

At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English-language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.